STEAMed Magazine January 2016 - Page 25

SM: You travel and speak quite a bit.  What are the most common questions you receive?  What do you think people are yearning for when it comes to creativity right now? AK: A lot of people want to know how to make a living doing something they love. That's a tough question, and one that hasn't been asked by humans for most of history. It's a particularly modern and privileged problem, worrying about doing something you love. The hard answer is: not everyone will be able to make a living doing what they love. (I really love to read, but nobody pays me to do just that.) I usually encourage people to “keep your day job,” or find a job that really needs doing that you're suited for, and then find a way to spend more time on their passions outside of work. To make a life, not just a living.
 SM: Much has been said about the importance in the 21st century around innovation and building creative thinkers.  Do you buy into that?  How do we go about cultivating that kind of thinking when it comes to schools? From what I've observed, the modern student is over-scheduled. Too much jammed into one day: too many appointments, too many scheduled activities, too much homework. I spent an enormous amount of time doing what looked like nothing when I was younger — reading, doodling, noodling around on my guitar. (A historical example: people thought Abe Lincoln was lazy because he liked to read so much.) Einstein said that creativity is the residue of time wasted. Students need more time and space to be self-motivated and self-directed in their learning. 
 ** As told to editor Susan Riley on December 8, 2015 WANT MORE? Be sure to join us for the Winter Arts Integration and STEAM Online Conference. FEATURED KEYNOTE SPEAKER Austin will be presenting a keynote address & answering questions LIVE! AUSTIN KLEON New York Times Bestselling Author & Artist LEARN MORE & REGISTER HERE: STEAMed Magazine 25 January 2016 Edition